Meet your new digital bank manager, Jude!

Jude was created by New Zealand fintech company Jude Limited to automatically handle those routine but easily overlooked parts of managing your bank accounts (like moving money between accounts to avoid overdraft fees or to maximise the amount of interest received).  We had a chat with founder Ben Lynch about Jude’s journey to date and his experience using Simmonds Stewart’s free doc makers to help with the company’s funding round.

the Jude story

Ben began his career as a software engineer with two of New Zealand’s most successful startups, Xero and EROAD.  Ben says he:

originally created Jude as a small side project to help him avoid hefty bank fees for unarranged overdrafts while his other accounts remained in credit.

Friends and family soon wanted to use Jude too, inspiring Ben to take the next step and turn Jude into a fully-fledged startup. Ben spent some busy weeks talking to banks and interviewing potential users about what they thought Jude should eventually look like.  It didn’t take long for several of the banks to show an interest in partnering with Ben on the project.  Deciding whether to team up with a large institution is a dilemma that many of our fintech clients face.  On the one hand, partnering provides customer validation and a potentially significant sales channel.  It can also provide capital, whether via investment or pre-purchase payments.  On the other hand, partner institutions are likely to want some level of exclusivity as well as pre-emptive rights over future investment rounds and/or over the eventual sale of the company.

After talking to a bunch of founders that he admired, Ben decided to take the harder road and develop Jude without a bank partnership.  This gave him the freedom to create:

a bank agnostic solution, a killer feature for all those people with accounts at more than one bank.

Having decided to go it alone, Ben joined the Flux Accelerator to access expertise, seed capital and a collaborative working space (Flux is a New Zealand startup accelerator and co-working space based in Auckland).  Ben released an iOS beta version of Jude to a small group of test users while at Flux.

the deal…

While Jude was undergoing beta testing, Ben was also working on the company’s first external funding round. Flux’s seed capital was able to carry the company through its beta testing stage but some external investment was required to get Jude ready for general release across both iOS and Android devices.  Flux connected Jude with the angel network Ice Angels, who agreed to lead a seed round. With Ice Angels on board it proved relatively easy for Ben to bring on other investors to fill out the round (including Sir Stephen Tindall’s investment company K One W One).

…and the docs

Jude did not need to raise a large chunk of capital, so Ben was keen to keep the transaction costs down where practical.  That, plus his obvious interest in software driven automation, made it a no-brainer for him to use Simmonds Stewart’s free doc makers to create a term sheet for presentation to Ice Angels.

Ben says the term sheet doc maker:

created a smart term sheet in only a few minutes, just by answering a few online questions about his deal.

Ben provided the draft he made to Andrew Simmonds for review and after a short discussion and a few tweaks the term sheet was good to send to Ice Angels.

The final version of the term sheet was quickly agreed and executed with investors.  This was an excellent result, especially considering the experience and expertise of the investors involved.  The term sheet was then translated into the usual long-form transaction documents and Jude closed its ~$535k round in late 2017.

Ben says:

the fundraising process was helped a lot by Simmonds Stewart’s free resources, which anyone looking to raise capital for the first time needs to check out.  Everything went smoothly from the term sheet stage to having money in the bank.

We want to thank Ben for taking the time to talk to us about Jude’s story so far, and we see great things to come.  It’s always warms our hearts to hear that our doc makers, templates and other free resources are helping companies put together successful deals in the wild!

The general release of Jude is expected in the next few months.